We live in the delta region of the Mississippi River and in many ways it is everything you think it is. Ten years ago the poorest, worst educated people in the country lived in the neighboring county, Tunica. Then the casinos came in and now they are no longer the poorest county.
Every September since 1857 (except for a few years off for the little North vs South thing) the locals have a get together known as the Mid-South Fair. It has it all; livestock contests, racing pigs, trained chickens that will kick your butt in tic-tac-toe, tractor exhibitions, talent contests, cooking competitions, carnival rides, and incredible amounts of unhealthy food and unhealthy people that love to eat it. Elvis always went. It certainly contributed to his weight issues.
Other than the obvious opportunity to people-watch we always enjoyed visiting the Horticulture exhibit. People enter their best and biggest. Everything from azaleas to zinnias.
Several years ago Superwoman and I decided to enter some things from our garden. Exhibitors get in FREE! That same year I had tried my hand at watermelons in my garden. I had never had much luck with melons and that summer was no exception. I think I had three vines, that produced three watermelons. Two that were puny and one really nice, though not real big, one.
When I told SW that I was entering my watermelon, she scoffed. I thought it was a pretty watermelon. It had only one flaw, right in the middle, where some offending insect had tried to unsuccessfully bore through the rind.
I picked the melon, leaving a bit of stem for that natural look, washed it carefully, then gave it a nice polishing with some olive oil. I don't think it was cheating but it sure made the variations of color stand out.
When we arrived at the Fair with our flowers and such, we had to register and tag each entry with our names. The tags for the flowers had little strings. The ID tag for melons was a sticker which I filled out and carefully placed right on top of the insect scar.
We returned the next day to find my watermelon tagged with a blue ribbon.
Now I'm admittedly not a very good loser, but I've been told I'm an even worse winner. Superwoman is still eating crow over that one.
I'm still trying to hide my blemishes, but I'm running out stickers.